Diplomats and business leaders have called on the Chinese government to lift the travel ban on foreigners and condemn xenophobic sentiment.
Last month, Beijing made the decision to ground almost all international flights and ban foreigners from entering the country, even if they have a valid visa and residence permit, in a bid to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections. It also took the unprecedented step of asking foreign diplomats not to return to China until May 15, with any that do required to submit to a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a designated facility.
“We understand it is for the purpose of containing the virus and we have had good cooperation with the Chinese side to help combat the virus, but the move is an interference into our internal issues. It is disproportional,” one Beijing diplomat told the SCMP. “We do not require privileged treatment. We just want the way Chinese diplomats are treated overseas to be reciprocated,” added another.
In addition, there have been widespread reports of foreigners in China being refused entry to restaurants and even evicted from their residences over fears among locals that they have carried in the virus back to China from overseas. The most shocking cases of alleged xenophobia and racism have been reported in Guangzhou, where the city’s sizable African community claims to have been seriously discriminated against since rumors of a coronavirus outbreak in their community started to circulate.
In a diplomatic effort to smooth over tensions, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Chen Xiaodong told a meeting of 20 African ambassadors in Guangdong last week that authorities are “improving measures and would gradually lift health [restrictions] over African nationals, except those who were infected, their close contacts and suspected cases”. Claims of discrimination and racism were denied. Both the diplomats interviewed by the SCMP, however, said Beijing should condemn xenophobic behavior in the strongest of terms.
Meanwhile, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China has sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry urging them to lift the travel ban on foreigners, saying that the fact that many of their executives are stranded overseas is the biggest problem for foreign businesses trying to resume operations in China.
“We need these people. These people were here for a reason, and the reason in most cases is these are specialists in hi-tech areas,” said Chamber President Joerg Wuttke. He added that international schools are also missing up to half of their teachers and have not yet been told when they can resume operation, despite the reopening of public schools being green-lit in several provinces.
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Keywords: China lift foreign travel ban
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don't worry, by discriminating against Africans, the Chinese are NOT being racist. Nor are they being racist against anyone who is not Chinese. You misunderstand the treatment of non-Chinese in China. This is the Chinese being hospitible (as they always tell us they are) Apparently only Caucasians can be racist.Anyony else hurling racial abuse or discrimination is not being racist. this report is fake news. Any first hand accounts of racial abuse of non-Chinese now in China is clealy a lie. So we can conclude from this that all foreigners in China are lying at the moment.
Apr 21, 2020 22:49 Report Abuse